While you may be looking forward to buying a new home, your first stop should be at your bank to get a mortgage pre-approval. There are many ways in which this is beneficial to you including giving you an opportunity to discuss your budgeting plans and what loan options would work best with them. You’ll also know if you have any issues with your credit and how much money you can borrow so you know what you’re shopping for. Most sellers will be more willing to negotiate with you once you have taken this important step.
How to get a Mortgage Pre-Approval
When you’re ready to take this important step, there are 5 things your bank will want to see:
- Proof of income in the form of a W-2 wage state from the past two years and recent pay stubs showing year-to-date income are necessary. You’ll also want proof of any other income you may receive (e.g. alimony, bonuses). This opens the door so you can negotiate with the bank since they can see that you have proof that you can obtain financing.
- Proof of assets is necessary so the bank understands how you’ll pay for your down payment and closing costs for the home. Your down payment will depend on the type of loan you receive. Most loans will require you to also buy private mortgage insurance (PMI) unless you’re putting down 20% of the home’s purchase price. The only loan that doesn’t require this is a VA (veterans affairs) loan that’s only available for service members (current or former) and their spouses.
- A good credit score which is one that’s 620 or better. Some lenders require this even if you’re getting a Federal Housing Administration loan. If your score is 760 or above, you’ll get a lower interest rate. However, if you have a 580 or above, you’ll only need to pay 3.5% down otherwise you’ll need a larger down payment. So, if you’re applying for a $250,000 loan and your FICO score is 620 – 639 you must pay $1,362 per month but if your FICO score is 760 – 850 you’ll only pay $1,128 thus saving $2,808 per year – a difference of over $84,000 in 30 years. This is why your credit score is so important when you’re applying for a mortgage pre-approval.
- Proof of stable employment is necessary so lenders know that you have a way of repaying the loan. Not only will you need to show the lender your pay stubs, but the lender will most likely also call your employer to verify what they’ve been shown. If you’ve recently changed jobs, expect the lender to also want to call your previous employer as well. If you’re self-employed there will be a lot of other paperwork that you must show your lender regarding your business and the income it brings in. Typically, you’ll be required to show that your income is stable, what type of business you own, the demand for its products or services, and whether it can continue generating the income that’s been shown.
- A few other miscellaneous documents including your drivers license and Social Security number so they can run a credit report for which you must sign. Sometimes they may also ask for a few other things that you should be prepared to quickly provide them with. By being cooperative here you’ll make things go smoother and faster.
Going through the mortgage pre-approval process before you start shopping for homes will save you a headache later. Once you’ve taken this step we invite you to stop by Vitale Homes. We believe we have a place for you to call “home” here.
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